Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Season of Miracles

This is the season for the celebration of “Miracles”. So to often we literally get “wrapped” up in the materialistic part of this time of year, that we actually forget what it is all about. It is about miracles.

In much of the world, we celebrate Christmas (the miracle birth of the Christ Child); we also celebrate Hanukkah (a Festival of Lights) and Kwanzaa (the Celebration of a Culture of People). All these celebrations, all based on miracles of all kinds.

We as a people, around this time of year, very often forget, truly forget, the “reason for the season” and instead we are so involved in so many other things. Oh, there is the shopping, spending, worrying, cooking, eating and for many people being depressed takes up a big part of the time. Yes, depressed. Depressed, that their loved ones, may not be with them, for one reason or another. Depressed because they may not have the money to buy the gifts they want to. Depressed, they may not have any friends or family. All may be valid reasons.

Yet again what are we doing? This is a season of “Miracles” and a miracle has occurred in your Life! Yes! It is the twelfth month of the year and you and I are communicating once again. We are celebrating our life. We made it! Another year, Hooray! Some of us, it may have been a “Breeze” and for others it was “The Perfect Storm” but we are all here to talk about it.

Some may be wounded but we are here and as long as there is life….there is HOPE!

Therefore, in this the season of “Miracles”, Celebrations, Gift Exchanging, Partying and Eating…we need to take time to look around and appreciate the “Miracles” in our lives.

When we do look around, we need to start first from within our self.

Get it! We are a Miracle!

Each day we survive is miraculous. Do not brush it off so easily.

Life can be difficult at times and those of us who fight, survive, and get to play in this game of life another day…well that is a gift of champions!

Then after looking within ourselves take a look around us and I bet we can find all kinds of “Miracles” that happen around us in our lives.

A phone call can be a miracle, if it is at that right moment if our life, when it is needed. A smile, a visit, the smell of a new day, can be miraculous when a smile is what it takes. How about a new birth, or the passing of a suffering loved one? Getting to hold your grandchild, this is nothing short of a miracle.

Miracles, all kinds of miracles are all around us, all the time.

We need to just rub our eyes and stretch out our arms and just take in the goodness that surrounds us.

Yes, this is “A Season of Miracles” but that does not mean Miracles only happen in December!

To all of you out there have a Miraculous Holiday, a Healthy one to you and all your loved ones and when it comes to the “Eating”, Remember….

There is a tomorrow

Have a wonderful day


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Gobble Gobble Gobble

Gobble, gobble, can you believe it Thanksgiving is here! Speaking of “gobble”, this is not the time for so many of us to get gobbled up in the “curtain” of the “holidays”. I say the “curtain of the holidays”, because over the next seven weeks, those of us who really suffer from this disease can hide behind the “curtain of the holidays” and “eat” just like everyone else is doing! Oh sure, no one will notice us eating, because everyone is doing it, picking and chewing, and chewing, and chomping. All the food, spread out all over the place, plenty of opportunities for us to do all kinds of damage to ourselves.

This presents a couple of problems. First is that statistics say the average American will gain 14 to 20 pounds over the next 7 weeks…..Hello, Average!

When have most of us been average when it comes to eating? When they say 14 to 20 that means that some will gain 2 pounds and maybe some will even lose 3 pounds (Ha!). Then on the other hand, some of us could actually gain 40 or 60 pounds over the next seven weeks.

My problem is, especially if I do not keep myself in “check”, If I do not “Keep It Simple for Today”, my problem could and has been at times in the past that …

I begin eating the night before Thanksgiving (when we are doing the preparing) and do not finish until three days after the “Super Bowl” which is in late January early February. I can, and have eaten as if it is holiday every single one of those Seventy days.

This is why we all need to focus.

Thanksgiving is a day to surely be thankful and not for the poor Turkey that gave its life for us. We need to be “thankful for the chance to be able to be thankful”.

We need to look around and see the real things that we have to be thankful for.

Spend a moment (at least) during that day to reflect on the things you have to be thankful for. It is not about the food.

You have eaten it all before!

If you do right by yourself this year, you will live for another, to taste it all again.

Look, the reality is you are going to eat more than 1600 calories probably that day….okay!

That is one day! Not every day, not the next seven weeks! Besides it, does it really have to be 16,000 calories?

You can have a small piece of pie, a taste, if you need to have it…

Then that is it! The holiday does not continue until and through Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Years and Ground Hog Day.

No, there are breaks in between those days.

You do not have to celebrate every social event at office parties, house parties, family gatherings, and all of them with a mouthful of food.

Swallow a little and talk. Socialize, it is fun.

The Holidays can and should be a time to spend and enjoy with your friends, family and loved ones. Time spent, without food making you feel either sick, guilty or both!!

Whatever you do, do not say those horrible dreadful “Loser” words…..

”Ah, I’ll make a New Years Resolution and I will start my diet January 2nd”!!!!!!!


It is only November, December, it is today!

Do it now! You are now!

You are alive …now!! You count…now!!

You can do it ….Now!

So gobble, gobble, let’s finish ’09 ….“In Line”!

“In Line for a great 2010”.

A 2010 where there will be no end of “You taking care of You”.

To all my friends and buddies and to all my “brothers and sisters” in battle ….

I wish to you a very happy, healthy, thankful holiday season and I am thankful we get this chance to share together…..

Eat smart, Think well, do not hate, be less angered, and smile when in neutral …..

All my love


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Stork Arrives

It is 11:03AM on Thursday, October 20th 1977 and the doctor (actually, it was a nurse) tells me that I have a son!! A little boy weighing it at 11 pounds 4 ounces a bouncing baby boy, a healthy little “Butterball”. Imagine I was a father and now the task of becoming a “Daddy” began.

Oh, it is not easy for any parent. Raising a child, being responsible for their safety, well-being, happiness, future, their every need is not an easy thing. Some people unfortunately think “flim-flam-bam and thank you mam they are parents and the rest is easy….it is not!

I only realized the struggle, worry and concern my parents went through, only when I became a father myself.

I always say, just because you are a parent that does not make you perfect! That when you become a parent, there are no, instructions that come along with that tiny little miracle of life, that is now yours.

It is like being thrown into the 100 foot water (never knowing if you can swim or not) and being told, “Swim”!

Yet I for one thing I am the luckiest man in the world! Seriously! Many of these blogs have been about my struggles or those of others but let us face it life has its REWARDS!

In addition, to being a father and I believe I also can call myself a “Daddy” for Thirty-Two years there are many “REWARD”!

I have been blessed with a child (and now a Man) who has been respectful to his family, loved his family, never ever embarrassed himself or his family. He works hard for his wife and children, he is true to them (and better be) and loves them and adores them very much.

Is he perfect? In my eyes as a dad, ….Yes! Could he do or have done some things differently? Ha! Who could not do some things differently in thirty-two years if given the chance? It is certainly easy for me or anyone from the cheap seats to sit and be a judge….but I will not!

I too could have done things differently and so could have you, I am sure!

The thing is I have gotten to see him grow up! With all that comes from that.

All the cheers, jeers, and tears! The awards (and there were many), the parties, graduations (I might not have attended them all but I have been around for them all), and “the first”! First tooth, then the first tooth to fall out, first job, first girlfriend, first (and only) wife, first child, (now second child) many first.

Yes, life has its REWARDS and one of mine (a biggy) was certainly the day the Stork arrived in our family.

I feel good today! I feel great today! I am proud to be a father and more proud to be the Dad of Michael Hebranko III born 1977.

I am a lucky person to be here to see all this and to be able to share it with my loved ones and my friends.

I share this part of my life with you and I ask you to take a moment to reflect on even just one “REWARD” life has had for you……..We all have them……….

In this world today of havoc, finances a mock, news is crazy, wars, innocent people dying, people doing crazy things just to be on TV ….sometimes it is important amidst all this havoc to search and reflect on the good things …..

On the REWARDS…it helps us to appreciate our lives ourselves..

It may bring a smile to us…

I know, to this very day not matter how I feel, no matter what kind of mood I am in, when I see my Son (even if it is for a second, until we argue about something) my heart brightens up, my blood flows better, my insides smile!

There are certain things that I am proudest of in my life one being my marriage and the love and relationship it has produced between myself and my bride and from that comes the other most proudest things in my life….my son...and now his family, his children, my grandchildren…

I have other things that I am proud of most… some are self accomplishment and survival and most are relationships with family and friends.

Life’s REWARDS they are there for the enjoyment, the reflection, the inner peace and comfort. Use them, allow yourself to appreciate them and acknowledge your part in your life’s REWARDS!

Enjoy today and all the days….


Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Those of us who suffer from this “Disease”, “Addiction”, “Affliction”. Need to understand the things that truly feed or fuel this “mis-function” within us.

Throughout the years of my journey and as I walk the road towards recovery I have learned many things about myself and what works and even more so what does not work.

With me, myself and through observations of close friends and associates, I have seen one common behavior pattern with in many of us, that is “Isolation”.

Isolation, we tend to withdraw first in our heads then in our lives.

For example: In so many interviews that I have done, it will not take a minute for some one to ask my poor wife, “How can you watch him eat? On the other hand, “Why don’t you stop him”?

Well here is some news for the world…97% of all the wrong kind of eating, I have done, I have done alone, on the sneak, in private. I have never needed anyone to help me to get my “drug of choice” ---“FOOD”! I have put those pounds on in private…for the world to see in public!!

So hiding and sneak eating is one of our problems and one that needs to be addressed if we are going to make any improvements in our life!

Another major “Isolation” problem is that we will withdraw, internally. We will cut people out! Stop communicating! Stop talking to loved ones. Whether we live with them, or if we live alone, we will stop calling or avoid calling friends and family. Just so that we do have to face the reality of that dreaded question …“How are you doing?”

We hear that question and if we are not doing well with our food, we will hear… “How are you doing, now that you are not dieting and eating out of control and gaining all that weight and being a complete failure…etc”!

Even though that poor person never said anything like that but that is what we might hear because often those are the tapes we are playing in our own head! That is our we are beating ourselves up already!

Isolation feeds our ability to make our self wrong, to support our terrible feelings of failure! Isolation will do that.

Then the finally kind of “Isolation” is the physical kind.

That is where you will avoid going out, avoid going to family functions, meeting with friends, going shopping, or just going to a movie. You are ashamed, you are tired, you are heavier, etc. etc.!


If you want to win the battle it is more than just making a salad, you need to make changes! You need to acknowledge you want to withdraw from everything and say, “Okay, I feel this way but I am still going to be a player, even though I do not want to play”!

Isolation means just you and your disease and guess what????? That disease knows how to push your buttons and for the most part …will win over you.

Do not let it win over you any more!

Just recognize that you are trying to Isolate and that is part of your problem.

Yet still get up tomorrow and make that phone call, go out to visit your friend, go to the neighborhood cafĂ© and socialize, go to the family function…no matter what your weight is today! That number can change either way tomorrow, depending on what you do right…Today!

You are a human being who deserves every break in life! You deserve the chance to enjoy life, to smile. You have paid your dues now you can enjoy a little.

Give yourself permission to smile, laugh, and have a good time. Okay life may be a little “Heavy”. You know what? It could be worse…you know that, just turn on the News.

So remember do not Isolate, it does not help…at all.

Open up those doors, open up your heart, and get out of your head.

Look for some one who loves you and share with them. Play with them. Laugh with them.

Laughter, good medicine…and it is free!

My dear friends, we are in a war to survive but one where there are many battles to be won.

We learn along the way, we learn from each other… I am sharing with you, my brothers and a sister in battle…that Isolation is “Not a good thing”!

Do not be alone! You do not have to be!

You have me, I have you, we have each other!

You have to make it work ……..Go fight for what you deserve!

Have a great day and Never Give UP!



Saturday, August 29, 2009


The dictionary defines cheating as follows: to defraud; swindle; to deceive; to elude; to violate rules or regulations; a person who acts dishonestly.

Wow, after all that we are then suppose to feel good about ourselves and get back on track and do the things that we need to do to live a healthier and fuller life.

Think about it? Here we are doing are best, trying are hardest, whether it is to eat right, stay sober, be positive or just live a healthier life style and then it happens! A bad moment, a bad choice, a bad day, whatever the reasons may be, you may be aware of the reason or you may not, it just happens!

You “Cheat”, then you come to your senses and cannot help but look at what has happened, what you have done and you think to yourself...”I cheated”!

Then the tapes begin to play in your head. Then by definition you are a fraud, swindler, you violate the rules, you are dishonest! You cannot help but hear these tapes in your head. You have been raised your whole life, to know that cheaters are low lives.

Now after that and a host of other guilty feelings, you are suppose to go forward, feel good about yourself, get back “on the wagon” and eat healthy and do healthy things for our self.

Can it be done? It can! Is it easy? No! Must it happen? You bet!

Who else but “you” is going to do it? If not now, when? Are you going to let another day go by? Do more damage to your body, your mind, your heart?

You cannot wait for someone else to make you feel good (it might happen, but there are no guarantees). There is an expression that goes “don’t wait for some one to tell you to wash your face…because then you just might look better than them.”

That is a harsh statement and does not play true in all cases but the point is we cannot wait for others to make us feel good about ourselves.

We have to dig deep inside and find the strength, realize the goodness, the worth inside of our self and begin once again.

It can be difficult, especially when you might have people around that knock you every chance they get, that may have lost faith in you, or are just fed up with you and all the years of you have struggled already.

These are the times when you need to try your hardest.

When that hill becomes a mountain, yet either way, it still needs to be climbed, one more time. You and you alone have to find the strength to take those first steps.

You have to tap into that inner worth, the inner need to succeed, the desire to survive, you have to know that you are worth it!
Life at times is not easy and often the bounce back from “nowhere” seems impossible, but who else but you deserves to be happy.

Do not act has if you might not deserve to be happy, you do!

You are a beautiful creation and deserve to live your life to its fullest.

Therefore, you, I and the rest of us have to fight!

Fight for our well-being, fight no matter what our demons are, no matter how dark they may be. We have to do what we need to do to make it!

If we need help and cannot find it here then we have to look for it there.

We need to do, what we need to do! As hard as it may seem, as alone as we may feel, we need to be able to look inside ourselves first!

We have power! We are strong! We made it this far and we can make it to the top of that mountain.

My friends who are in struggles of all kinds…I say this to you. Hang in there!

Be a little easy on yourself; give a little hug to yourself.

Never quit, never give up!

You are special….very special and you are worth it!

Your Brother in Battle


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Do you need help --To put yourself down?

I have found through my journey that when I am having my worst times. Those days when I would be eating out of control. When I would be starting every day with the words, “Today is going to be the day I do good” and by sometime soon into that day I will be re-negotiated with myself and committing to, “tomorrow I will start over again”!

Each new day making another new deal and truly wanting to believe it will happen and why not? Do I really need to gain any more weight? Do I really want to jeopardize my health and independence? Do I want to die? No, No, No and definitely No! Yet my clothes get tighter, my pain gets deeper, my legs get weaker and my breath gets shorter. I know then that I am in trouble. I have known along the way that I was in trouble.

I am having enough of a hard time with the battle, just to put two healthy meals together, do I really need any ones help, making me feel worse than I already do, about myself? Do I need a family member, a boss, a colleague, a producer, doctor, stranger or friend coming up to me and asking me or “telling” me that I have gained weight? DUH! I know all about it and I thank you for making (helping) me to feel even better about myself, than I do already! DO WE REALLY NEED THAT KIND OF HELP??

You know I have this theory and I will try to explain it in a short version (because some day it might be in a book form, I hope). Her goes, our disease (our struggle, battle, fight, problem, habit, call it whatever makes you feel comfortable), our disease feeds off negative energy. Whether it may be caused from depression, pressure, nerves, loneliness, anxiety, the past, the present, or the fears of the future, any kind of negative energy, both conscience or unconscious, and we will eat over it.

Each time we eat out of control, it is like those “old locomotives”, we feed the engine with more negative logs (reasons) to keep the “engine” (our) mouth going. We eat, we react to eating and then we eat more.

Then all we need is some one to really mean well (and sometimes not mean well) and try to tell us we have gained weight and maybe they can help!


More logs for that engine and then “FULL SPEED AHEAD”, and eating FRENZY!

I know about intervention and I agree that in the right way and done at the right time with the right set of circumstances it can be helpful but it is a delicate problem and needs delicate handling. The biggest intervention has to come first from within.

We know the people in our lives who are out there who will help us! HOWEVER, we have to make those moves toward them; we have to want to make those moves.

In order to want to help ourselves, and to help ourselves we must be in a POSITIVE state of mind, a positive place!

I f you are angry with yourself, if you hate yourself, then how can you be positive about you???

How can you go through the struggle ahead of you that day, if you do not like the person you are fighting for?

You need to support a positive atmosphere around you, within your life as much as possible.

How? Well, one way is to think about this.

You can hate the act (of overeating) but do not hate the actor.

You can possibly not be thrilled with the physical package when you look in a mirror but love the ingredients.

Do that first my friends and then dealing with the others in your life who say hurtful things will be a little easier. If you think about this…

In the scheme of things, the people who are upsetting you do not really matter! They are not there when you have to make the right choices. They are not with your 24/7 when you have to face your inner most self. Who are these people you give so much power too?

They may people who threaten to fire you, or not be your friend, maybe divorce you or never speak with you again, if, you do not lose weight.

Yet do they have the power to extend your life? Can they give you five or ten more years of living? I doubt it but guess what? You have that power!

You are the one that has to like yourself, and like yourself enough to where no matter what hits you, that it will not matter.

You are going to do well with your next choice!

Therefore the original question was “Do you need help to put yourself down?”

What is the answer? You should know the answer.

The answer is, “No one puts you down! You give no one that power!”
Take the power away from those who hurt you and then …

You have won one more battle!

Each battle we win helps with our personal WAR!

Take back the POWER, take back the CONTROL

Good luck my so” worth while”, “Brother and Sister in Battle”

Good luck my friend

Never give up and so you will never fail!



Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Have you ever been in a room full of people and felt alone? Have you ever felt as if you wanted to, just scream but for no particular reason. Besides, why bother, who would care or even hear you anyway? Does what seems to be the silliest little reason put you into tears? Does your bed or your living room ever seem like it is the easiest or safest place to deal with “today”?

Sound familiar? You may be depressed! I looked up in the dictionary and among many definitions on “depression”; I would like to share these few:

A depressed or sunken place- sadness; gloom; dejection. A condition of general emotion dejection and withdrawal; sadness greater and more prolonged than that warranted by any objective reason

Suffering from depression or being depressed… in the past has been an embarrassment and almost like having some terrible social disease.

Times have changed and the time is now and is time to “Get over that”!

Depression is not something to be ashamed of nor is it something to be ignored and “shoved under the carpet”, with hopes it will go away on its own Depression is something that needs to be fought, on every level with everything you got!

This is a time in history, when we as human beings acknowledge whatever is not working and then do what is needed to be done and make it all work for the better!

There is nothing wrong with depression or being depressed except “Staying Depressed”!

I have dealt with depression on many levels throughout my battle and during my re-discovery.

All I do know is, depression is not pretty. It could be very painful, draining and at times destructive. Destructive meaning: non-productive; harmful to relationships; hurtful to oneself; and on many different levels.

In my particular case, I would often find myself asking…

“Do I overeat because I am depressed or “Am I depressed because I overeat”?

This is the “million dollar” question but either way the results of the overeating in the past have not been good for me.

That is why I and I hope anyone who reads this must be willing to take the “Bull by the horns”.
Recognize the enemy! Notice the signs and if you are depressed, then do whatever it may take to get yourself back on track.

I am no professional nor do I pretend to be one but I am a person who knows about depression. I have seen it in its ugliest states.

Besides, I personally like millions of human beings fight to stay positive. Sometimes you may be feeling a little blue and just a new hair do may be the “Pick you up” that you might need. Maybe a phone call to an old friend and a few laughs is just “What the doctor has ordered”.

Sometimes it may take a little more than just that. It may take some professional help…and why not? Are you not worth it? I ask you, is not your life working well, worth anything and everything? If you had a bad cold that you could not “shake” with some over-the-counter medication, you would look to a professional.

So, I ask, why not in this case too?

I know I would do anything, rather than be confined to a bed again for three years or homebound for fifteen years. If it means me admitting, I might need a little extra help and that I am not the one who can fix everything in the world and in my life. That I might need some help. Than let it be!

Depression is an ugly thing! Yet with work, it can be made better. Maybe it will not be cured forever, but for now, you do what you have to. Later, then you do what needs to be done, then too!

As long as you remember at all times, your life is meant to be lived, to the fullest and at the highest quality possible. You must remember that you do whatever needs to be done to make you smile inside your heart. To have peace, within your being.

You must make the effort, to get up out of that bed, if you physically can (so many of our friends physically cannot), get up out of that chair; open up that door or window, take a deep breathe and smile. Smile, then make some good healthy choices today and always remember these four simple but very important words….say them to yourself daily and as often as necessary during the day. Repeat them now…with meaning

I AM WORTH IT! One more time I AM WORTH IT!

Have a great day and do whatever you need to do to make this day, your day!


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Miracle of Life

On June 9th, of this year I was honored, proud, and thrilled to be at the hospital, when my daughter-in-law and my son become new parents of a healthy baby boy. In the waiting room along with the mom’s family, was my wife, my 83-year-old mother-in-law and my three-year-old grandson. Four glorious generations, in a waiting room, just waiting for the surprise announcement of whether their was a new Hebranko boy or girl. Then my son came through the elevator doors and the wait was over. My grandson had his little brother, that he was so anxiously waiting for, a new play pal.

Right after the initial emotional outburst from all and my own personal pride, I was feeling for my son and his now family of four. I could not help to think about how beautiful life is truly. A miracle had just happened within that building and my son and daughter-in-law (especially) were part of it. Within minutes, we were able to look through this glass window and I saw him. My grandson, my second grandson. I never had a two. I was an only child, I had an only child and for the past three plus years, I was blessed with one grandchild. Now I had two.

I have lived to see this happen. I could not help think, as I looked at this beautiful little boy how great it was this time, to be a part of this moment. Sadly, at the birth of his brother, I could not be at the hospital. Therefore, I waited at home for a phone call from his dad. That when it did come through, he said to me, “Da, I have a son”!

I also could not help remember how many of my son’s school plays I missed, his little league games that I could not attend. I even missed my own son’s high school graduation.

However, I did not miss this. I was there, live and part of it all. The last brand new baby I had seen born was this little person’s daddy 32 years ago. It was a big difference. Besides me being 32 years younger, his daddy was almost twice his size. My little grandson was a small guy, six pounds eleven ounces. His dad was eleven pounds four ounces. Almost half but just as beautiful and just as cute.

Life is a miracle. At one point I was holding my older grandson (imagine, my older grandson) and the both of us are looking at this newcomer to the world.

I want to wish my grandsons, their mom and dad only happiness and health in life. I hope they always see the glass as half full and look for that silver lining in those clouds….it is there.

Life is a miracle and if you are reading this blog, then you are part of this miracle. Each day we open our eyes and at the end of the day, lay our heads on our pillows, we were part of the “Miracle of Life”.

There were times in my life I did not see grandchild in my future and now I see me dancing at their grandchildren’s wedding.

All things are possible ……

Have a great day and keep smiling


Wednesday, June 3, 2009


I believe in prayer. The power of prayer is probably the most powerful force in the world, the universe. For me prayer is my personal communication with my maker, my lord. To some who are non-believers, they may call prayer; meditation, quite time or whatever they may like.

From a personal point of view, I pray daily. Being raised a Roman Catholic I have my standard prayers (Our “Hail Mary’s”, The “Lords Prayer”, A “Glory Be”, An “Act of Contrition” etc :) but then there is my direct communication, my one on one time, me to the lord.

Today, I found myself alone in the house for a short time and I began to pray. Before I knew it, I was praying aloud as if God was sitting right next to me (and he was). There were no formal words; I thanked him for what I have, for what he has done in my life, and for my life! Then of course, I asked him for things. Health was on the top of that list and not so much for me (although I did not fail to include me on the list) but mostly for my wife, son, daughter in law and the future baby soon to be part of our world and life. Then there were special thanks for my grandson and what a gift he is and to protect him (by now I was in tears).

Before you know it, I was feeling guilty. I didn’t want to leave anyone out, I prayed for my mother in law, my extended family, my friends, my blog buddies, and for even people I didn’t know. I also asked for a few other things….like strength.

I am not posting this to share my prayers or try to convert anyone. What I am trying to say is afterwards I felt, GREAT!

I felt strong, as if a weight was lifted off my shoulder.

Me, I believe it was my direct communication with the “Big Guy”. I highly recommend it. Again, if you are not the spiritual type then just a little alone time and speak out loud, how you feel. Holler if need be, cry out in pain if that is what you are feeling. Crying is not a sign of weakness but rather a way of cleansing of ones mind and spirit.

People have been praying and meditating for trillions (ha) of years. Some call it meditation, some call it prayer, call it what you want to, I just say it is a great experience.

Spending time with yourself, deep time, getting things together, being thankful for the things that have worked (and there is plenty of things that work), verbalizing what you need to have happen, what you want to happen. Being grateful for the things in your life, even the small things, can help one along the path with great power.

Getting yourself in a positive mood and being positive helps in those self-struggles, we all face. So for me, I had a great spiritual morning and wanted to share it with my friends (I must be honest it was not my first). I feel extra good, extra strong and very happy.
Why not share it?

If you are one who prays (or meditates), then I am sure you understand what I am saying and for those who have different beliefs or no beliefs then I just ask you to find some time to spend with you. You will find that you need a little affirmation, forgiveness, and some direction.

Go for it and never ever forget about yourself …in this very complex world!

Have a great day!

Peace of mind and Peace be with you


Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I sit here and it is the last day that I live as a fifty-six year old man. Tomorrow I begin my journey on my fifty-seventh year of life. What have I accomplished in 56 years? What have I learned in 56 years?

If you allow me, I would like to take a minute of your time to share some of my life’s lessons. I have learned that there is nothing more important than faith and love. Faith in my God and the love for the life he has given me. I have learned that the important thing is not the material things you accumulate (because they can be gone in an instant) in life, but what are important is the people you get to share your life with and that you meet along the way.

If I remember in my High School Year book, my goal in life was to be rich and I spent a good part of my early time of my life trying to be rich . My problem was I did not know what the meaning of rich was then.

Like so many, I thought “Rich” meant how much money you had and where you ranked in the “Fortune 500”. You know they call money a “Liquid Asset” for a good reason because like a liquid, it can flow in any direction very easily. There was a time when I did not have money and I thought I was “Poor”. I was so wrong. What I did not realize then was with each day I was getting richer and richer.

There was a point that I wooed my life’s mate and married my sweet wife, since then it has been as if my “Dow Jones” has been doubling each day. Some of the priceless “Dividends” has to be my son and now his son and soon to be new baby.

Over these years, I have been able to bank some very important relationships. I have friends of over 40 years and through these years have come across some amazing people who I have become friendly with. I have a cousin who is more like a sister to me and our relationship is very valuable to me. My dad’s sister and her family have been supportive of me through some very difficult times. I love my Aunt Eva and Uncle Steve and pray for their health each day.

Then there are my “In-Laws”, boy do in-laws get a bad rap as far as I am concerned. My wife’s family has adopted me and been by my side through thick and thin. My late father in law was one of my best friends and I miss him dearly. My mother in law is a Saint and I enjoy everyday talking with her and sharing life with her. She is and has been so good to me. My sister-in-laws are great. They have been like sisters to me and to my son! My brother in law was the first to offer me blood when I needed it and for this, I can never forget him. My wife’s Uncle’s and late Aunts ….beautiful people, no other way to describe them and her cousins unique are my cousins too, a true dedicated family, all there for each other. Therefore, what value do I put on that? You can not!

Then as a parent you worry and hope that, your child finds the right mate too. You hope that they are as happy in their relationship as you are in yours. My son brings home a truly wonderful wife, a marvelous mother and a great daughter (in law). Together I know that they will be as happy as my wife and I are …a forever kind of love.

Blessed family, good friends what else is there? Well there is more.

I have been a man who has lived in fear of his life for over 40 years. Since I was 16, I have felt that I was going to die (mostly because professionals have told me so). Long-life was not in my future. I spent many a day living (and eating) as if it was the last day on earth. Seriously, I use to go to bed with five or six ham and cheese sandwiches thinking if I was going to die, I ought to die with a full stomach (is that not the reasoning of someone with a disease?).

Thirty-five years ago tonight I swore I was going to go to bed and not wake up on my Twenty-First Birthday because I was sworn to that I would never live to my 21st Birthday if I didn’t lose weight.

I sit here now and I will begin my 56th year tomorrow. Am I sounding like “ha-ha” I beat all the odds? Oh no, forgive me if I sound that way. I am a grateful human being. I am thankful to many people; and on the top of that list are my wife and son, my special doctors and her colleagues, Richard, my friends and my family. Two other special thanks. One is to me because with all the help and all the support I have gotten, no one goes through the battle daily, minute by minute but me and little pat on my back is well deserved once in awhile. Then on top of the list is God, I am so thankful to God for giving me this time. Can I say to God, “God bless you” God because I am so grateful.

Therefore, I get this time to reflect on the important things in life. Yes, numbers were always a big thing in my life. How much money I had, how much did I weigh, how much did I lose or gain? Now numbers are not so important. Lifestyle is more important. I cannot take numbers with me to the next world.

My health is important, the quality of my life is important and the people in my life are important.
Thank you Mommy and Dad for the life you have given me and even though you may not be here with me on this earth, you live so strongly in my heart and mind.

What have I accomplished? I have been a loving husband and father and grandpa and one grateful human being! I have accomplished a lot! I have lived my High School Dream , I am a rich man, a very rich man!!

Therefore, my friends on my Birthday I give to you this gift of “reflections” and ask you too to reflect on exactly what is important to you. What are the things you can do today that will be with you tomorrow and not just for a passing moment?

Have a great day tomorrow and for many tomorrows to come…
Happy day to you

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Not Easy To Pick Yourself Up …But Necessary

Probably one of the most difficult things in the world is admitting to yourself (and sometimes others) that you have made a mistake. You goofed! Call it what you want, you may say you slipped, you fell off the wagon, you cheated, you had a bad day, whatever but I have learned two things in my journey. The first thing is not to ever say to myself that I have Failed! No no no, Failure is not an option!

Failure only exists, only when you stop trying! My feeling is as long as God gives me the gift of life, then I will do my utmost to make the best of it. I have to try to do my best (I sound like the Boy or Girl Scouts), for myself because the “carrot” for that effort is a better and longer quality of life. Do I not deserve it? Sure I do and so do you!

We are here for a fixed period of time. We are not meant to suffer in our lives. Certainly, we are not meant to be harmful to ourselves. You and I should take advantage of every moment we have. We all deal with different problems and situations and I know at times they can become overwhelming. Yet as soon as we snap to reality and at the next available moment we can, we need to take the “ball” we have be given and “run” with it. For some of us that “run” might be just a walk or just a way to deal with it.

In my life, my constant issues have been weight related and dealing with the struggles of eating healthy and taking care of myself on a daily basis. My “disease” has taken its toll on me. I have had my “ups and downs” and yes, I do not weigh 198 pounds as I did in September of 1990 but I am still not a failure (even though some may see me as one). I have not failed and why because I have not given up! I have never stopped trying.

I fought to survive for over twenty years. I have slipped, slid, fell, bumped, backslid, and binged myself up and down hundreds and hundreds of pounds but I never failed. There was not a day that I thought that there was not any hope left for me. There was not a day, a moment that I was not willing to try and try again, even it meant to start all over again!

I am eating healthier today than I have in many of my past days. I pray that I will continue to make the right choices and if there may come a moment when I will slip again; I pray that I will have the chance to try again. Hey, life is too good, not to want to make the best of it. Fourteen years ago, I was bedbound and I knew that I wanted to survive; I knew I had to keep fighting. I knew I had things to live for and I knew that there was more ahead.

Look what my life is now. I am a Grandpa! A completely new chance to love a completely new life. To share in the energy of God’s gift of new life! I did not know then that this is what was in store for me now as I do not know now what might be in store for me tomorrow…just let me go the way!

I have said I have learned two things along my journey and one being is not to ever say I have failed as long as I am trying. The other one is simple and an obvious one but it took me a little longer to learn and to accept. That is that I am “Human”. Yep, human, in all its glory and all its meaning.

In being human, I have realized that we are not perfect in the fact that we make mistakes by nature. Once I can accept that about myself then I will not be so darn hard on myself. Boy can we be hard on ourselves. Isn’t it funny we can be patient with the whole world, we can forgive so many people in our lives that have hurt us, time and time again but when it comes to forgiving ourselves ... ??

That has been the hardest lesson to learn in my new life, yet it has been one of the best and it has been one of my most useful tools! Self-forgiveness a better tool, the primary tool before any “Diet”, Food Program”, Exercise Regiment”, “Calorie Calculator” “Pedometer” or any other tool or gimmick one may use.

Learning to forgive you is such an important and necessary step in being a Winner! If we have the gift of forgiveness for others than it is about time to give it to ourselves.

It is “Not easy to pick yourself up, when you have fallen of the righteous path of living a healthy lifestyle. After days, weeks, months of eating the right foods, making the right choices, doing the healthy things then BOOM, a moment comes and you “Goof”. Sometimes those “Goofs” last a long time and do a lot of damage and picking yourself up, brushing yourself off and starting all over again may not be easy but it is “Necessary”!

Why because you are necessary…

Have a great day

Never give up


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Take Back That Power…

Do they like me? What will he think? I wonder what is she saying? I hope they agree!
How often have we or do we play these tapes inside our own heads? How many times in our lives do we look for the approval of others before we think we can be happy?

Then when we do not get what we expect, why do we give our self, permission to do some kind of self-destructive behavior. Something to make ourselves feel even worse. In many of our cases, it will lead to some kind of binge or even worse, we fall off the wagon and reverse many hours of hard work.

There are those times that people in our lives not only never give you that “Pat on the Back” but often cut you in half with some harsh words. We are human and no matter what size we are, no matter how much flesh we may have on our bones. We still feel! We still hurt! We are sensitive people with real feelings and we are not protected from pain, either physical or emotional.

The thing is it will be an almost impossible task to change those people and get them to stop hurting us (although we can try). What is more important? What will work a lot more easily is to …

TAKE AWAY THEIR POWER! Take away their power to hurt you. Let us face it is you that have given them such power! You allow them to hurt your feeling, for their opinions to count so very much. Now is the time for you to take ownership back.

No one should have such power over you, as to where a remark or lack of one, would turn your whole life upside down!

Change has to happen. As many of us know, taking off the weight often is not as difficult as keeping it off. Keeping it off is a whole project, which involves many changes…external and internal. Someone hurting us does not help our metamorphosis.

You are who you are and people who care bout you, who love you, who count just need to accept you the way you are. Now if there are things about your personality, your character, your being that you want to change…then you will add that to the list of inventory changes about you …and work on them.

In the meantime, you are here in this world first to make you the person that you like.
In order for you to change you have “to first be who you is and not who you isn’t because if you is who you isn’t you just isn’t who you is.”

I always say we can always change the packaging (our outside) but we have to like the ingredients first. We really do not need many unsolicited outside opinions. We usually have enough about ourselves.

The changes we need to make require a lot of positive energy around us and we need to be in as positive a mood as possible.

Do not give the power to others to drag you down!

Take Back That Power

You Are Worth It!

Have a wonderful day and never forget how very special you are…


Friday, February 27, 2009


I personally know people who probably stopped reading this blog right after they read the title of this positing. There are people who actually hate birthdays, but do they? Is it that they hate birthdays or just what they represent, and what they fear?

What is it that a birthday actually represents? A birthday represents a celebration of the anniversary of a miracle of somebody’s life. A continuation of this life.
Whether an easy year free of problems and pain, or one that was filled with trials and tribulations. The point is that it was a success, we are here to talk about it and we get a chance to keep going on.

I personally love birthdays and I hope that I and the people that I love have as many birthdays as possible.

Tomorrow (February 28th ) is a very special (Birthday) for me. In 1953 on this day, a star shined down from the heavens over a little town called Brooklyn, New York and born to a kind couple was this beautiful little girl. A little girl, one with the warmest and kindest heart in the world. A little girl who grew into a woman who knows how to love purely.

A lifetime friend, a partner and a wife, one who has been dedicated through the good and the rough times. One who defines the terms “in good times and in bad”.

Happy Birthday to my wife, Madelaine.

I dedicate this positing to my wife Madelaine on the anniversary of her birth. I would not be the man I am without her, my soul mate.

Madelaine is the salt to my pepper, the left to my right, the up to my down, the in to my out. She makes life so much enjoyable.

One of the things I love best about her is when I get annoyed at something she has done (believe me we know each other for over 43 years so we can annoy each other at times), I am ready to be angry with her. Then I hear her voice, she looks at me in a certain way and she melts me. I forget what I am angry about, she makes me laugh and then we go on.

Each night I go to bed thinking I could not possibly love this woman any more than I do this day and then I wake up the next morning and I love more than I loved her yesterday …. I look forward to tomorrow.

Madelaine has been by my side through my worse times but through all our years, we have had fun! Even through the darkest and heaviest (no pun) of times, we have tried to laugh as much as possible, find the humor in many situations and she has been a main force behind my strength.

She is also the greatest teacher I have had in my life. She is probably the smartest woman (person), I know. Her wisdom is superior. She has taught me to be who I am and not who I am not. She has taught me that she is not in this world to live up to my expectations, nor am I in this world to live up to hers, among many other great, wonderful and powerful things.

She has helped me to realize my relationship with God. She has taught me the true meaning of family. She teaches through example.

Madelaine is a giant among us and sets an example to me and many of us, on just how to live. If she has any weaknesses, it is not knowing how to say “NO”.

Not an evil bone in her body, no hardness in her heart but she would not want everyone to know that. So shhhh, do not tell anyone she is a softy.

I am the luckiest man to have lived and to have been matched with Madelaine.

Birthdays? I love birthdays, especially February 28th.

Happy Birthday my Boot, I love you privately, publicly, timelessly, now and forever.

Thank you my friends for allowing me to use this space to pay tribute to a very special soul.

We all need to appreciate life around us…
our loved ones, and our own.

Birthdays are not to be scared of but rather to be appreciating of…life itself!

Have a great day, have a great life!


Friday, February 13, 2009


Wars have been fought, people have died, all over this simple but complicated “four” letter word … LOVE! Throughout time, people have proclaimed their love for their gods, for God, for their countries, for their fellow man, for nature and for each other. Love has become a very deep involved word and often a misused one. Love is said to come on all levels and all forms. There is the love you have for a parent, which is not the same as the love you have for a spouse. Nor is the love of a spouse the same as a love for a child. Then we love our children differently than we love our grandchildren. We have love for our close friends, which is nothing like we have for our neighbor next door, and the love for our neighbor next door is not quite the same as the love we have for our neighbors across the ocean.

Why have we complicated such a simple beautiful thing, like love? Boy, as human beings we can certainly “take simple and make it complicated”.

Anyone have an animal or a newborn baby? Watch how innocent and pure their love is for you. I had a physical therapist once who use to say all the time “Love is Love”!

When you think of it, how true is that statement? Love is just that …love! If we kept it simple, pure and true then love at its simplest form would be the same all around. How we express our love, how we practice our love to our spouses, parents, children, friends, families and acquaintances is different and should be different …of course it is. Yet the foundation is the same. A bonding, a respect, closeness, a oneness a feeling that cannot really be put in to human terms because it is a feeling beyond full human comprehension.

If we think of love like an onion (nice analogy) and peel it away layer by layer in the center of our love for all things, for all people must be the simplest of all loves.

Yet on the other hand, it is the kind of love, which gives most the biggest problem of all. What is that you might ask?
That kind of love is “Self-Love”!

Self-Love is at the core of true love. How do we begin to love, if we cannot love ourselves? Oh, I can hear the roar out there and read the emails already …relax. I hear you and I have been where many of you think you are.

There was a time when I knew I loved my wife and adored my son but I would swear there was no self-love for me. I would have argued that I could love others without loving myself …but I was wrong!

I was wrong, not in the fact that I loved my wife and son of course I loved them, I was wrong in the fact of loving myself. I did love myself, I always loved myself and not in a narcissistic way but in way that love counts. The caring, the important way.

The problem was it was so long since I felt hope, so long since I really did anything good for myself, so long since I showed myself any love that I actually forgot that I did love myself.

The fact is we all love ourselves, we may forget that at times, sometimes for very long period. So long of periods that we think it is the truth …we do not love our selves but we do!

What one needs to do is something to spark that Self-Love. Something that really counts.

It is okay to love yourself; it is not selfish to have “Self-Love”. A little more “Self-Love” might help you to be happier, healthier and live better.

Allowing me to love me has been a positive thing. It has given me the strength to not give up, wanting to live, to want to be a part of the lives of those I love. Allowing me to love myself just intensifies and secures the love I have for all in my life.

“Love is Love” and let it begin with you.

Have a happy and loving day


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

I am sitting here having lunch with the new President of the United States of America. The only thing is he is at the capital in the Capitol having his lunch eating seafood and some kind of duck and I am in my living room having a fat free cheese wrap with plain sundried tomatoes and honey mustard.

Yet you cannot watch the beauty of the smooth change of power and the majesty of this historical event, without appreciating a philosophy that I have been living by for many years. This is that “All things are possible ….and that as long as there is life there is hope!

Now I do not use nor do I wish to use this blog page as a political platform and I try not to express my personal preferences but today I am an American and a proud one …as always. As a human being, I am so hopeful for both you and me personally. We all have our battles, our inner battles, often we have some victories, and sometimes we do not do as well.

Yet “All things are possible ….you just have to believe, not give up hope, never give up and never stop fighting! This inner faith has to give you an inner fire that is always burning. Sometimes the flame may be a little lower than other times, this is normal but the “flame of life” never goes out as long as we have life itself.

We have to fan our own “inner flames”. When all is said and done, it is I; it is you that has to fight ….today. We have to do the one thing positive for our self today. It may be making a healthier lunch choice, doing something physical, making a doctors appointment, healing a relationship, anything that in the end will help your life work better.

By the way if you do not think that one healthier choice for lunch does not make a difference let me tell you, those lunches add up and combined with a good breakfast, balanced dinner and the right kind of physical activity…it matters! Those pounds will come off and if done it the right way and the lifestyle changes are made for the better can only hope and pray and fight each day to stay healthy and continue to move forward in our life and dreams!

Today we witnessed a man who has followed his dream and the dreams of millions both present and past. On a greater scale we have seen that “All things are possible”, and in our own personal lives we must always remember that hope lives and we as individuals are powerful, we can change. Change is in the air and let it begin within ourselves.

Good luck my friends, brothers, and sisters in battle, the light of hope shines upon us all.

Good luck to our new President, good luck to all of us as citizens of the United States, members of the human race, and with our personal daily lives.
Good health, good attitude and do not give up hope because “All Things Are Possible …if you believe!

Saturday, January 3, 2009


One of the definitions when looked up in the dictionary of “Resolution” is -- “the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose. I personally like the part that states “firmness of purpose”.

Come the New Year, how many of us in the past, have made a resolution (usually to go on a diet), and within days, realize we have not stuck to that “New Resolution”. Then we just feel guilty about it and it does not make us feel good about ourselves, and here we go into a vicious circle once again.

It is a New Year and New Beginning a New Chance to take advantage of a situation. What situation, you may ask? The situation that you, have an opportunity, to participate in the “game of life”! Your game of life! This is a wonderful gift for both you and me.

I for one will not be making “Traditional Resolutions” this year (I have not for the past few years). I will re-visit and reinforce my “Firmness of Purpose”. I will encourage in myself the things that have been working and I will look at the things in my life (as I do on a regular basis) those things that need to be adjusted. I do not wait until New Years to change my life. As I proceed through the adventure of living, I will adjust along the way, as I need to.

I will build on my strengths and acknowledge, accept and improve on my imperfections. My purpose as I go along my life’s path is to take advantage, absorb and enjoy the things in life that are meant to be. Then what we need to fix …we fix!

Therefore, for this New Year, for 2009, I affirm to reaffirm my, purpose and that is to, Go through my life and live it to the best of my ability. I know what I know. I am willing to learn and if need be make adjustments. I acknowledge what has been working for me in the past and what has not worked for me. Is there room for improvement? In case I have any doubt, I can always ask my wife or son, they always seem to have a list of things for me.

Seriously, living is the greatest experience I know, everything else is second best.

Some poor desperate soul wrote on my comments section of the blog, the other day, something to the effect that she basically did not care if she lived on. My heart wept for her. I knew her pain, her desperation, possibly her anger, fear, and tiredness. All I did know is that I was frustrated. Frustrated, that I could not take her in my arms, give her a big hug and tell her to “Hang on there, within time it will be better, much better”! I personally know what it feels like when you think that there are no answers but believe me, “Oh God, believe me, that is so wrong! There are answers, there is hope, there is light at the end of the tunnel. There is life beyond today. Unbelievably much of our solutions comes from within….it does! Life is a gift and not one for us to take lightly. My prayers are with my sweet “blog friend” and I hope that she and any of us who may feel the way she does at some point in our life, just search out help …wherever it may come from. There is no shame in taking care of you. Good luck to her!

Now for 2009, my purpose, my “Firm Purpose” is to continue to take care of myself. No specific resolutions for me. Nothing written down on paper or in my mind that might say, “By March 1st I want to lose 18 pounds”. Then March 1st comes and I lost only 16.5 pounds and then I am a failure. No way! I am not playing that game.

My “Firm Purpose” is in 2009, is to do things that make me feel better, physically, mentally and spiritually. That is what is good for me. Feel better about me! Be happier, content, and peaceful.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all my friends for visiting our blog page and hope you continue to visit on a regular basis. Maybe if you have not in the past, you might even contribute a comment, we would love to hear from you.

I also want to not miss the chance to wish all of you, your friends and loved ones a most joyous and healthy New Year. I hope that 2009 is a year that is filled with peace, joy and happiness to you.

A “Great Purpose” for all in 2009

Love Mike

Tow the line in 09